Posts Tagged ‘tibetan satire’

“Zombies, believe me, are more terrifying than colonists.” ― Frantz Fanon

There’s a new political creed and mantra in exile politics these days. A small, yet vocal, group of ethnic Tibetans – most of whom don’t speak a word of Tibetan and have spent most, if not all, their lives in North America or Europe – are now trying to convince Tibetans in Tibet and exile that aImage major root of their problems is not Chinese communists but white, westerners.

Apso has recently been targeted by one such rabid zealout who writes a blog called Angry Tibetan Girl. In it ‘she’ falsely accuses Apso of being a ‘white feminist racist’. While I’m proud to admit that I’ll happily love any bitch whatever their pedigree, breed, fur color, (like any progressive Tibetan male would) I doubt  Angry Tibetan girl is so open and ‘liberal’. Rumor has it that her hatred of whites (especially women with Tibetan boyfriends) stems from being lonely and single. Whatever the truth is, the day ATG marries a black or Indian guy and takes him home to Apa and Ama la, is the day she cannot be accused of  ‘kettle calling the pot black’.  In the meantime, let’s hope she keeps up those Sunday school classes in Tibetan language and culture and that the progressive institution of the ‘arranged marriage’ comes to her rescue. Woof!

Sadly, this is not just an isolated incident. Recently on social media, a member of the Tibetan exile Science department angrily accused whites who come to Dharamsala of being imperialists who are ‘good for nothing’ ‘know it all’s’, collectively responsible for colonialism yet who try and ‘teach us something’. One such white imperialist scientist, who regularly attends and speaks at the ‘Mind and Life’ conference and ‘Science for Monastics’ program, had this to say:

‘Well, frankly the majority of Tibetans in exile know little about biology, chemistry and physics. That’s why I was invited. Now they’re calling me a racist and imperialist for doing so. Its confusing alright!’

Yet, this small minority of exile Tibetans when asked about the recent Tibet Film Festival poster (and its ‘cultural appropriation’ of the most famous ‘yellow head’ sex symbols, Marilyn Monroe) argued vehemently that is was art and a symbol of progress. Hmmmm (scratches head)….

One Tibetan tried to defend such views by saying:

‘It’s not that we hate all white people. We will happily befriend and welcome anyone who says ‘yes’, smiles and agrees with whatever we say, even if its blatantly wrong.  Even if the ‘yellow-head’ is a rampant careerist and Orientalist do-gooder, it’s fine too. What we won’t accept is anyone who dares to challenge us on anything!’

The Chinese government were quick to capitalize on this trend by issuing the following statement:

‘It’s true, white people are the enemy and must be defeated. They keep trying to convince the world that Tibet is a nation that they should have autonomy, freedom and human rights. We actively commend and support any TIbetan who criticizes these pesky, interfering, long-nose, yellow head, big eyed, too tall, white-faced monkeys. They should stay out of Chinese internal politics!’

As a result of the post-colonial fundamentalist trend that is sweeping the non-white world, the last decade has seen an increase in Tibetans criticising those in their community who look like they are acting in a colonial, imperial manner.  No, not the Chinese, those ‘yellow head’ westerners554610_10201582451425307_865861004_n, stupid. Compulsory Tibetan-Tibetan marriage, procreation and eating Tsampa and wearing Chuba every day are policies now being considered by the Tibetan government in exile to prevent this moral and cultural pollution.  Exceptions will still be made for any Tibetan who wants  a western education, sponsorship, funding, visa or passport.  Use of the internet, scientific breakthroughs and mobile phone technology will also be allowed as long as Tibetans do not speak about their western inventors.

However, this week a group of Tibetans (who see themselves as ‘liberal’) took their adoration of all things western to a new extreme. The Tibet Film Festival launched a promotional poster featuring a Tibetan woman mimicing the pose of American sex symbol and icon of ‘yellow head’ beauty, Marilyn Monroe.  Reaction to the poster was divided.

Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the Tibetan political leader (a fan of Miss Tibet) was heard saying privately that he saw nothing wrong with the photo at all. That he had always secretly fantasised about Monroe and blonde, white women from his days at Harvard.  It is alleged that he even has a secret poster of Monroe that he keeps for private moments, although this could not be confirmed.  He was clearly influenced by fellow Harvard graduate, President John F Kennedy’s relationship with Monroe.

Tibetan Buddhist religious leaders (all monks), on the other hand, were outraged calling the poster yet another example of the degenerate West’s influence on pure Tibetan women and culture. Apparently ignoring or oblivious to the degenerate influence of Tibetan Buddhist culture on Tibetan nuns and lay women for centuries. These people when asked if they have heard of Freud’s Madonna-Whore complex, stated simply:

‘No, and I don’t want to know either. Women should be pure, simple and virginal before they marry or be mothers and wives. Anyone else is a filthy whore. ‘

Feminists called the poster out on its blatant objectification of women, with someone suggesting that if the organisers wanted to create something original and radical they should have pictured two homosexual Tibetan men in chuba stripped to the waist, kissing each other. Many so-called ‘progressives’ felt that would not be possible though because they would not be able to find models as:

‘Homosexuality does not exist in the Tibetan community.’

President Obama was asked for a statement on the desecration of one of the US’s sacred celebrity icons.  Obama said:

‘I’ll shake hands with President Hu Jintao, and meet the Dalai Lama the next day without any sense of hypocrisy or irony. But this is going too far, that Tibetan woman is no Marilyn Monroe and it is deeply offensive to me, my family and the American people.’

What will they think of next? The Tibetan exile leader as Bruce Lee? Tenzin Tsundue as Johnny Depp? Seriously though, it would have been more dignified, original and ‘cool’ to see two gay men kissing……now that would really have been something to get those self-righteous chins-a-wagging in Dharamsala! Woof!

lobsang sangay“The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.”  George Orwell

So Apso was at the exile literature event today in Dharamsala, promoting Tibetan poet, Tsering Wangmo’s Dhompa’s new book ‘Home in Tibet’. The cover art of the book alone suggested we were potentially taking a dive into child-like fantasy. Dhompa, the first Tibetan-American poet to receive some international recognition and distribution, told the audience she wrote the book for her Tibetan nomad mother.

The Tibetan exile leader, Lobsang Sangay found time in his busy schedule to support and promote Dhompa’s work at the event, and who said politics and art don’t mix?  We soon found out why he was there, not only had he known Dhompa for 25 years but also she was top of the class in all subjects at the Tibetan exile educational establishments. Then, to the bemused laughter of the audience, Sangay also referred to the writer’s ‘beauty, humility and lack of forthright opinions’ and the excitement it caused the men (including himself) when she arrived at Delhi University, as further evidence of her ‘talent’ and ‘worthiness’. Groan, someone lend him a copy of De Beauvoir’s ‘Second Sex’ will you?

Dhompa then read a few undoubtedly nostalgic, lyrical and moving passages from the book. Referring to how her mother’s marriage led to her ‘parting her hair on the other side’. One audience member bravely asked her if her book addresses any of the less romantic aspects of Tibetan society, culture and history such as religious theocracy and gender inequality. She responded that the Tibetan landscape is so beautiful (perhaps she’s never visited Scotland or the Swiss Alps) but agreed that the nomad women had ‘hard lives’. Was that a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ then?  Anyway, without reading the whole book it’s hard to say, but I guess the more romantic the more the Western lapdogs will lap it all up and make it a Tibetan bestseller! Success!

In an interview for TibetWriters.org Dhompa states that ““Nostalgia is political in our experience as ‘Tibetans’ and nostalgia is a recurring voice in contemporary Tibetan poetics in exile.” For Dhompa, exile appears to be the very condition for cultural knowledge. Well, not if you’re a TIbetan living in or from TIbet, right?

A very different kind of Tibetan female writer is also in Dharamsala right now, Kunsang Dolma. Her book ‘A Hundred Thousand White Stones’ published this year, tells of sexual abuse, violence and gender inequality in both Tibet and India. I wonder if Lobsang Sangay would attend an event to promote her book? Uneducated, working-class, opinionated, married to a western man, mother of two mixed-race children…..she’s not ticking those exile patriarchal elite boxes of: ‘simple’, ‘humble’ and ‘un-opinionated’, though is she?!

Sadly, we Tibetan BuddImagehists don’t have a great reputation anymore when it comes to the treatment of our bitches (or should I say kyemen (lower birth)).  It’s all the fault of those pesky western and mongrel bitches who keep daring to tell us superior pedigree Tibetan males (bhumed = not female and higher birth) that women should have equal human rights and respect and not be treated like silly virgins, houseservants or prostitutes (you know, weird, colonial, imperialist, western, Freudian shit like that). It’s even got to the stage where HH the Dalai Lama is coming out with crazy, feminist stuff like ‘The next Dalai Lama might be a woman’ and ‘the world will be saved by the western woman’!

For so long, our male lamas and tulkus have told us to pray not to be reborn as women in our future lives. However, after seeing the way Tibetan females and children are being treated by the exile community in the 21st Century in Free India I think we need to change our pechas to praying not to be reborn as Tibetan females! Or if we’re going to go down the way of those crazy western imperalists, how about praying not to be reborn as sexist, misogynist, patriarchal, religious nutcases instead?! That would certainly reduce a lot of unnecessary suffering…..

First, there was the horrendous Tenzingang case where a Tibetan woman who was tortured and beaten by a bunch of hyper-moralistic, religious Tibetan goons, was then told to apologise and prostrate for her crime of being a woman, while the man (who she was having a consensual relation with and who was the father of her child) got off scot-free! To top that, this week, there was the alleged rape of a five year old Tibetan girl by two Tibetan adult males in Mundgod settlement in South India. The response of the community elders and settlement officers to such an appalling crime? Don’t bring a bad name to HH the Dalai Lama by reporting it. Words fail me. Such incomparable love and compassion!  These are just the cases we hear about as well…..

Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Mani Padme Hum……and thank f**k I’m not a Tibetan female!

I’m Lhasa Apso. With the Special General Meeting at the Tibetan Government in exile 
here in Dharamsala now underway I felt it was a most opportune time for my comeback. But 
first, I have to confess one thing. No offense intended but I hate yak. Not because yaks are stupid; 
yaks are great. But the yak has become a hegemon, overshadowing other precious animals 
of our nation Tibet. I feel isolated, lonely, abandoned and lost.

The legendary exile rock band, Rangzen Shonu, immortalized the yak. Their song 'Nomads 
of Tibet' made yak meat a household name in Tibetan society. The yak has also been 
eulogised and captured in poetic form. Writers have dedicated their books to the yak. 
I even heard Buchung D. Sonam’s latest book is called Yak Horns! But how could he 
forget the beauty of the Apso's fluffy, soft ears?

It’s not that I’m a useless animal. I have great personal qualities. Just Google it, 
and you will find that apsos are: 'emotive and fearless…they respond to exercise and 
discipline with a calm assertive energy… they are quite comical, caring and 
entertaining companions.’

I know there are some valid reasons for why I have been almost forgotten by my own 
people in exile. When Tibet was free I only hung around with the aristocrats, unlike 
yaks and the terrier who served the ordinary Tibetans. So, it could be a class issue.

But snobby and obnoxious as some of my former companions might have been, that doesn’t 
mean you should totally abandon me. Look at the demands for my fellow comrades in the 
international luxury pet market. Let me remind you that Tsering Shakya, the famous 
Tibetan scholar, is a defender and supporter of the Lhasa apso as a proud pet-owner.

Even the great Tibetan poet and historian, Gendun Chophel is once purported to have 
quipped: 'there’s no such thing as a snowlion. If you carefully observe the snowlions 
on the Tibetan flag, it will gradually dawn on you that they are nothing but two Lhasa 
apsos.'

I’m the unofficial national animal of Tibet and I'm back and barking with a 
vengeance!